It is interesting to note that while only approximately thirty-one percent of adults in the United States believe in astrology, research studies show that fifty-two percent of Europeans consider astrology to be a science.
The main forms of astrology which are predominantly in current practice are Indian astrology, Western astrology, and Chinese astrology. In the United States, Western astrology is the most popular. The most well-known aspect of Western astrology is the zodiac sign; based on the belt of constellations, each of which was interpreted as resembling various figures, the zodiac signs (or, also referred to as the astrological signs) are called Aries (the ram), Taurus (the bull), Gemini (the twins), Cancer (the crab), Leo (the lion), Virgo (the virgin), Libra (the scales), Scorpio (the scorpion), Sagittarius (the archer), Capricorn (the goat), Aquarius (the water-bearer), Pisces (the fishes).
Horoscopes, which are the most basic interpretations, are based on which sign was in effect when a person was born; and whether a person was born on the "cusp," which means the very beginning or very end of the particular sign. In addition to utilizing a sign to determine life events and predict one's future, a sign is also thought to be relevant to learning about specific characteristics of one's personality and even predisposition toward various potential health conditions, as one's sign is believed to govern certain parts of one's body. Odd as it may sound, many who have carefully studied this type of information have found it to be quite accurate. For example, while every Virgo is not "practical," "fastidious," and "strong-minded," this trait is indeed a common factor amongst many who were born under this sign; and while all who were born under the sign of Virgo do not develop stomach, intestinal, or reproductive difficulties, many Virgos are indeed more prone to these problems than other people.
Another form of astrology is Indian astrology, which is also called Jyotisa, or Vedic astrology. Its foundation is the belief of connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm the smaller parts and the universal. Although interest in Vedic astrology is widespread, as it is currently practiced in India it is a significant part of their culture, as people rely on it for all of the important decisions in their lives, from business to marriage.
During the last few decades, Indian astrology has become internationally popular, but it has been a part of India's culture for centuries. Vedic astrology is said to have first been revealed more than 7000 years ago. Thus, what is said to have originated with the Brahma has spread in popularity to such places as Arizona, which is the home of the American College of Vedic Astrology, currently offering online courses for those interested in learning how to become certified astrologers. Most astrologers offering Vedic astrology readings, however, are located in India.
Chinese astrology is based on the calendar cycle, rather than on constellations. In this form of astrology, the zodiac signs are named after animals the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Going by the Chinese calendar, each of these animals are assigned to the lunar months. The animals are also assigned to the time of day during which the individual person was born.
In addition to the animals, there are five elements wood, fire, earth, metal, water which are believed to modify the characteristics of the animals signs. One of the main purposes and functions is to achieve balance, and to affect whatever changes are necessary in order to achieve that balance. Chinese astrology, also, has begun to attain widespread popularity in America.